Like many of you secluded in your homes during this lock down due to Covid-19, I find myself sing-songing these words on a daily basis. All day long I cook, clean, wash dishes, and wash clothes. And, tomorrow I will do the same things all over again! So why do I cook when we will get hungry again? Why do I clean when the house will get dirty again? Why do I wash dishes and clothes when the sink and laundry basket will be full again tomorrow? Is this all there is to life?
In God’s providence, I find myself in the Book of Ecclesiastes in my daily Bible reading. And, I hear myself thinking today much like the Preacher in this Old Testament book who proclaimed, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Eccl. 1:2; 12:8). Is life a vapor? Are my daily chores pointless? Is my endless repetition of the same old thing necessary? If nothing I do will last or be remembered, why do it? If I know I will die, how should I live? These questions ring loudly in my heart. I recall the words of the Preacher: “There is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9). But, I don’t despair. I turn to God’s Word for the truth about the meaning of life.
This profound book of wisdom reminds me that my relationship with God gives my life purpose and pleasure. If I love the Lord, then I will obey Him. Even when I know that the challenges of life will continue, I do my part to serve the Lord and my family. Though I am keenly aware that no problem can be solved permanently, some can be solved for now. I seek to be a vessel to accomplish God’s perfect plan. I am His creation, and He has a plan for my life.
Ecclesiastes ends with clear instruction about living a meaningful life: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl. 12:13-14). After asking tough questions and wrestling through life’s dilemmas, the Preacher wisely concludes and instructs believers to work hard, not to solve a problem forever but to be obedient to God. God Himself will one day complete the work according to His purposes and in His timing. Since God is sovereign, I must serve Him faithfully each and every day of my life, even if my days seem ordinary and redundant.
My menial chores take on new meaning now. I cook, clean, and wash because I love my family. I cook, clean, and wash in obedience to my God-given role as the nurturer of my home. I cook, clean, and wash out of gratitude for my blessings and appreciation for my loved ones and the Lord. That gives joyous meaning and purpose to my life and the lives of those I love.
So, in the year 2020 more than ever before, I am grateful for this time to live and laugh and love (Eccl. 3:2-8). I am reminded that all of us have our work to do, and we should work with all our might whatever our work may be (Eccl. 9:10). I believe that the meaning of life comes from our relationship with God not our own personal labor. I embrace the uncooked meal, messy house, and dirty clothes. I trust God to work through me for His good!!!